Thursday, October 8, 2015

SCSU Bulldogs take on B-CU Wildcats in ESPNU primetime main event tonight

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina -- If you only look at the Bethune-Cookman University athletics website this week, you might think you are reading about a major wrestling event that is taking place tonight at the B-CU football stadium in Daytona Beach, Fla.

With headlines like “Blackout as Cats host Dogs at The Cage,” it sounds more like a nationally televised WWE pay-per-view event!

Instead, it is a college football meeting at 7:30 p.m. between two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rivals, South Carolina State (2-2 overall, 1-0 in MEAC play) and Bethune-Cookman (4-1 overall, 2-0 in MEAC play), in a game that will be shown live on ESPNU.

The host Wildcats do play in Municipal Stadium, which they call The Cage, and BCU athletics is asking for all B-CU supporters to wear black clothing for a unified blackout look in the stands.

So the headlines do make sense. In fact, with the two teams having split (3-3) when playing in Daytona Beach during the last 14 seasons, the game could have the feel of a back-and-forth wrestling match that could end with one team jumping off the top rope to take the win in the final seconds.


HBCU Football Judgment Day Schedule: Week 6, (Oct.8-10)

Courtesy: Dominque Monday

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama  --  Tickets are now on sale for the 2015 Toyota SWAC Football Championship game in Houston, Texas at NRG Stadium Saturday, December 5 at 3:00 p.m. 

Tickets start as low as $17 and are available online at or by calling (800) 745-3000. A limited number of seats at the $32 value will be made available for $27 to groups of ten or more who purchase by phone at 844-573-0849. Tickets prices will increase by $5 on game day.  

The annual SWAC Battle of the Bands, featuring performances from the respective division winners, culminates with Judgment Day Saturday at halftime. 

Immediately following the game, fans will be treated to a postgame concert featuring the King of R&B, R. Kelly.  Admission to see the concert is included with the purchase of a game ticket. Additional information may be found on the football championship’s official website at

Special events around the football championship weekend will kick off with the SWAC Hall of Fame Reception on Thursday, Dec. 3 at the J.W. Marriott in Houston, Texas. In addition, a week long schedule of events will be available later this fall.

The winner of the East and West Divisions will meet in the SWAC Football Championship Game. The victor will earn the Conference title and a chance to play in the all new Celebration Bowl on Dec. 19. 

Thursday, December 3

· SWAC Hall of Fame Reception at J.W. Marriott 6:00 p.m. (Invitation Only)*

Friday, December 4

· SWAC Football Championship Press Conference at NRG Stadium 10 a.m.

Saturday, December 5

· 2015 Miller Coors Light HBCU Tailgate Party featuring Juicy J 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
· 2015 SWAC College Expo at NRG Stadium 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
· 2015 Halftime Battle of the Bands
· 2015 Toyota SWAC Football Championship at NRG Stadium 3:00 p.m.
· Postgame concert starring R. Kelly immediately following championship game

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015

MEAC Game of the Week
South Carolina State at Bethune-Cookman, 7:30 PM, TV: ESPNU, ESPN3


Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015

Tennessee State at Tennessee-Martin, 3:30 PM


Mississippi Valley State at Prairie View A&M, 3 PM
Alabama A&M at Grambling State, 4 PM
Southern at Alabama State, 7 PM

North Carolina A&T at Norfolk State, 2 PM
Delaware State at Hampton, 2 PM
Savannah State at Morgan State, 4 PM
North Carolina Central at Florida A&M, 5 PM

Livingstone at Saint Augustine's, 1 PM
Virginia State at Elizabeth City State, 1 PM
Virginia Union at Lincoln (PA), 1 PM
Shaw at Fayetteville State, 1:30 PM
Johnson C. Smith at Winston-Salem State, 1:30 PM
Chowan at Bowie State, 4 PM

Miles at Central State (OH), 1:30 PM
Fort Valley State at Kentucky State, 1:30 PM
Stillman at Clark Atlanta, 2 PM
Lane vs. Benedict, 2 PM. Augusta Classic, Augusta, GA
Morehouse vs. Tuskegee, 2 PM, 80th Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic, Columbus, GA


Notre Dame College at West Virginia State, 1:30 PM

Lincoln (MO) at Saint Joseph's (IN), 1 PM
Arizona Christian at Langston, 3 PM

East Stroudsburg at Cheyney, 1 PM

The Sun Conference
Edward Waters at Webber International University, 5 PM

Texas College at Wayland Baptist University, 2 PM


Texas Southern
Arkansas Pine Bluff
Alcorn State
Jackson State

All Game Times Are Shown In Eastern Time Zone


HBCU notebook: Grambling State QB Johnathan Williams raising eyebrows

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- If you look at some of the top quarterbacks in college football, they can all throw the ball down the field -- there’s no question about that. Not only can Grambling State quarterback Johnathan Williams throw the ball downfield; he can throw it all over the gridiron.

Williams, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior, threw for 327 yards Saturday night, completing 20 of 36 passes and five touchdowns as Grambling State (3-2 overall, 3-0 SWAC) topped host Jackson State (1-4, 1-2) 59-27. The feat earned him HBCU Player of the Week honors.

The Tigers’ signal-caller has been on an absolute tear of late. A week ago, he completed 20 of 33 passes for 429 yards and six TDs, leading Grambling State to a 70-54 victory over Prairie View. In case you’re counting, Williams has thrown 11 TDs in the last two games. On the season, he has amassed 1,481 passing yards and 18 touchdowns -- a record among SWAC quarterbacks.


Ferrell Family Featured on ESPN Investigative Special

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- The family of Former FAMU Football Player, Jonathan Ferrell appeared on ESPN's E:60 Wednesday night.

The recently renewed investigative series chronicled the events on and since the night of Ferrell's 2013 death, detailing the close relationship Jonathan had with his older brother Willie.

Ferrell was gunned down in North Carolina by Charlotte police officer, Randall Kerrick.

Click here for a link to the E:60 special. 


Blount, Woodbury coming back to Bowman Gray

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina -- Kermit Blount and Tory Woodbury will be on familiar, sacred ground on Saturday when Johnson C. Smith comes to Bowman Gray Stadium to take on Winston-Salem State.

With both programs at 1-4, it’s shaping up to be the ultimate pillow fight as each tries to get on track this season.

For Blount, in his first season as head coach at Johnson C. Smith, and Woodbury, the offensive coordinator, it will also be a homecoming. Blount and Woodbury are both former quarterbacks with the Rams and are in the Big House Gaines Hall of Fame.

“Oh boy,” Blount said earlier this week when asked about coming back to Bowman Gray Stadium. “It’s been so long since I’ve been back I might need a map.”

Blount, who played on some of the best teams in WSSU history in the 1970s, also coached the Rams for 16 seasons. He’s the all-time wins leader in school history with 91 victories but was fired after 2009 when the Rams went 1-10 in their last year before forgoing the move to Division I.

Blount, 57, went on to coach Delaware State for four seasons but after being fired there, he resurfaced in the CIAA but is wearing the gold and blue of Johnson C. Smith.


GAME NOTES: NCCU Football at Florida A&M (Oct. 10, 5 p.m.)

Complete Game Notes at PDF   

North Carolina Central University "Eagles" vs. Florida A&M University "Rattlers"

Saturday, October 10, 2015 – Kickoff at 5:00 p.m.

Bragg Memorial Stadium (25,500 capacity/natural grass) - Tallahassee, Fla.

N.C. Central (1-3 overall, 0-1 MEAC); Florida A&M (0-5, 0-2 MEAC)

Audio: NCCU Sports Network "GameCentral" at (audio internet stream). Broadcast starts at 4:30 p.m. (Jonathan Duren, play-by-play).
Video: FAMU Rattler Vision (video internet stream - $7.95).

• Florida A&M leads the series with NCCU 6-1-1.
• Saturday will be just the third gridiron meeting between the NCCU Eagles and the FAMU Rattlers in the past 40 years.
• NCCU ranks third in the MEAC in scoring offense with 28.0 points per game, while FAMU sits 10th at 13.0 points per contest.
• NCCU's red-zone offense tops the MEAC and ranks 12th in the NCAA Division I-FCS at 93.3 percent (14-of-15). The Eagles were a perfect 14-of-14 at scoring when inside the opponent's 20-yard line until a blocked field goal in the final seconds of a two-point loss to Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 3.
• Thanks to a 144-yard rushing performance against Bethune-Cookman, NCCU redshirt freshman Dorrel McClain is the third-leading rusher in the MEAC at 60.2 ground yards per game. He is the only rookie listed among the league's top-10 rushers.
• NCCU freshman kicker Nigel Macauley leads the MEAC and ranks fifth in the FCS in field goals made (1.67 per game). He is also the conference's second-leading scorer at 8.7 points per contest.
• C.J. Moore's two interceptions versus Bethune-Cookman puts the senior safety atop MEAC leaders with an average of 0.50 picks per game. Moore, who moved into the Eagles top-10 career tackles list at No. 10 with 236 stops, also ranks fourth in the conference in tackles (8.8 per game).
• In the past 38 games (start of 2012 season), NCCU has scored 27 touchdowns on defense and special teams, including three in 2015.

• NCCU won a share of the MEAC Championship with a 6-2 conference record.
• The Eagles posted the most wins as a NCAA Division I-FCS program with a 7-5 overall record.
• The Eagles earned the program's first win over a nationally-ranked FCS opponent by defeating No. 24 North Carolina A&T in the final game of the season on Nov. 22.
• NCCU broke the school record for completions in a season with 227, topping the mark set by the 2011 Eagles of 210.
• The Eagles ranked third in the nation (FCS) in turnover margin at +12.0.
• NCCU quarterback Malcolm Bell passed for 1,982 yards with 15 touchdowns and just five interceptions, completing 177 of 286 passes as a sophomore.

This will be the ninth meeting in the series between the NCCU Eagles and the FAMU Rattlers since the teams first played in 1939. FAMU leads the series against NCCU, 6-1-1. The Eagles lone win in the series was a 9-3 victory on Sept. 15, 1973 in Atlanta.
11/10/2012 - FAMU 22, NCCU 21 (Tallahassee, Fla.)
11/12/2011 - FAMU 31, NCCU 10 (Durham, N.C.)
9/15/1973 - NCCU 9, FAMU 3 (Atlanta, Ga.)
12/7/1957 - FAMU 14, NCCU 0 (Miami, Fla. / Orange Blossom Classic)
9/22/1956 - FAMU 25, NCCU 0 (Durham, N.C.)
12/1/1951 - FAMU 67, NCCU 6 (Miami, Fla. / Orange Blossom Classic)
11/9/1940 - NCCU 7, FAMU 7 (Durham, N.C.)
11/11/1939 - FAMU 20, NCCU 7 (Tallahassee, Fla.)

NCCU: Jerry Mack (Arkansas State, 2003) is in his second season as a college head coach. At age 34, he boasts 10 years of coaching experience, including stints with five NCAA Division I programs and two conference championship teams. A native of Memphis, Tenn., Mack has held positions as wide receivers coach at the University of South Alabama (2012-13) and the University of Memphis (2011), as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (2010), as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at the University of Central Arkansas (2008-09), as wide receivers and tight ends coach at Jackson State University (2006-07), and as an offensive graduate assistant at Delta State University (2004-05). Mack began his collegiate playing career at Jackson State before transferring after one season (1999) to Arkansas State University. He lettered three years at Arkansas State (2001-03) before earning his bachelor's degree in management information systems in 2003. Mack completed his master's degree in physical education from Delta State in 2006.

FAMU: Alex Wood is in his first season as head coach at Florida A&M. Prior to accepting the top job at FAMU, Wood served as offensive coordinator at the University of Buffalo from 2011-14. In October 2014, he was tapped to serve as interim head coach replacing head Jeff Quinn, who was relieved of his duties, for the final four games of the season. He served as running back coach at University of Miami from 1989-93, helping the team to a pair of national championships, including a perfect 12-0 in 1991. Wood served as head coach at James Madison University from 1995-1998 and led them to an 8-4 record and the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs in 1995. He has served as an assistant coach in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Minnesota Vikings.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

JSU’s tab for settling with fired coaches grows

JACKSON, Mississippi -- It was back to the drawing board Wednesday, the day after Jackson State University fired head football coach Harold Jackson.

Jackson wasn’t halfway through his second season coaching the Tigers when he was terminated. His predecessor, Rick Comegy, was fired in 2013, after winning seasons and back-to-back trips to the SWAC championship.

JSU alum and NFL great Willie Richardson said he’s baffled.

“You know, it is difficult to come behind Comegy,” Richardson said. “Comegy had gone to two SWAC championships. The only thing you can do better than that is win.”

Jackson didn’t win. The Tigers had a 6-11 record under Jackson, and was 1-4 this season. The university offered no explanation as to why it let go of a coach who was being paid $260,000 a year on a contract set to expire in 2017.

There are financial repercussions from the firing. The university is reportedly in...